NBC Hires Actress to Play Pvt. Lynch

08/06/2003 at 03:51 PM EDT

Canadian actress Laura Regan, who starred in last year's horror flick "They," will play U.S. Army Pvt. Jessica Lynch in the controversial NBC movie "Saving Jessica Lynch," says the Hollywood Reporter.

While the 20-year-old Lynch, a supply clerk in the 507th Ordnance Maintenance Co. in Iraq, is a familiar figure to the American public -- having even made the cover of PEOPLE -- the story of her March 23 capture and April 1 rescue continues to make headlines even after Lynch's return to her home in Palestine, W.Va., last month.

Conflicting reports about what happened to her before, during and after the rescue have forced NBC to make updates to the original movie script by John Fasano, says the Reporter.

In early April, The Washington Post published a report discrediting certain aspects of her dramatic rescue from a hospital in the southern Iraqi city of Nasiriyah, where she had stayed after her convoy was ambushed. One issue was the early report that Lynch, who recalls nothing of the incident, fiercely fought off the attackers.

It was during the initial reports that NBC made the deal for the movie. The Reporter says the network will start production this month and premiere it during the November ratings sweeps period.

NBC entertainment president Jeff Zucker has told TV critics that the film's content would be based largely on the perspective of Mohammed Odeh Al-Rehaief, the Iraqi lawyer who alerted U.S. military officials to Lynch's whereabouts and has since relocated with his family to the United States.

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